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Chapter One: Midoriko and the Wish.

Naraku was gone finally. Having been brought down by all his adversaries working together, he had left with barely a whisper; obliterated from the surface of the earth, having underestimated the power in the Inu brothers who both had 'something to protect'. The shards having been gathered and Tenseiga able to be used again for healing and giving life; wounds had been vanished and Kohaku returned. The jewel was purified; the wish was Inuyasha's.

He had thought long and hard about this wish and it had changed several times in his mind. No one else knew that of course; not even Kagome. Throughout the lifetime of his knowledge of the jewel and all it could do, he had not had very long to think on it in actual fact. He had been not much more than a child in reality, when he first came across Kikyou; he was fifteen human years to look at, but younger in youkai terms. She however was older and much more sophisticated than he; but because of being a shrine maiden, she was also far more innocent than other girls of her age.

Kikyou knew of the function of carnal love and the need to have children, but she had none of the experience that told her of it's joys and pains. She awoke to the feeling of attraction when she befriended the lonely hanyou and began to mistake common understanding for love. He too felt love but not in the same way. He saw a lovely girl and could appreciate her beauty, as it was like his mother's and like his mother she cared for people and children; they were drawn to her kindness and goodness as was he, a loveless, orphaned, hanyou child.

Their love was mutual but on two different plains; she was now aware of her desire, his body as yet still slept. But she gave him warmth with her smile and occasional caresses; all of which he treasured, as he was starved of tender physical touch and merciful looks. He would have done anything for her, promising to protect her and he tried right up to the time she died again; even at the cost of Kagome and his friends understanding and patience. It was only with the coming of the monk and his lecherous ways that Inuyasha finally realised what Kikyou had wanted with him and now what he would like with Kagome.

She'd wanted him human, hanyou and even youkai, not one of his personas had phased her or made her love him less. Kagome truly accepted him for who he was and all he could give and he'd finally been able to tell and convince her, that his love was for her and not her predecessor. They had spoken laterly of his love for Kikyou; but it was Myouga who explained all that had really happened. That had been one afternoon when his young Lord had not been around and of course she had then understood and wondered why she had not realised it all before.

So, for the past year of their travels together, they had been a promised couple more or less; both still to everyones surprise, completely pure in their relationship barring a few stolen kisses or the small intimate touches that they both allowed of each other. His desire to become full youkai had been given up long ago; right back when he knew he would probably become just a killing machine. Inuyasha had harboured secret hopes that maybe he could become as his brother, with his blood in control; but it was not a risk he was now willing to take and so another, this time unselfish wish, had formed in it's place.

And now here he was, with the Shikon in his hand ready to be purified completely with his new wish. It was staying pink from Kagome's own purity and his wish should whiten it into non-existence and free Midoriko. At least, that was what was understood. What actually happened was that Midoriko's voice was heard in his head; he had no doubt that it was the Miko he heard and she spoke seriously to him.

"This is too important a task to make mistakes Little Hanyou. Will you permit me to see your wish before you make it? I may be able to help you form the correct thought."

"Feh! If you want." Inuyasha heard a delicate laugh at his typical courtesy. But there was a deep sadness in the touch of the Miko's mind and he needed to know what it was about.

"It is a very generous wish Inuyasha and proves you have matured. But I am afraid I have to sadden you greatly my child; Kagome will not be able to stay in this era; she has things to do in her own future and it cannot include you. Your future is here and not there. If I could change this for you I would; but it is impossible and no matter if you changed your wish to stop this, it would not. I am truly sorry."

"Kagome will not stay with me, she must; she is my life, she promised, I love her, she wants to be my mate."

"I am so sorry but it cannot be altered and it has nothing to do with me or the jewel. The well will close, whether or not you use the jewel and she will automatically be taken back." The warmth of her voice and the gentle touch of her mind did nothing at all to halt Inuyasha's overwhelming grief at this knowledge; but although in the privacy of his mind he wept bitterly at the news, nothing showed on his face. This possibility had crossed their minds but they had hoped against hope that it would not come to pass.

"You will have a full day after you make your wish before this will happen Inuyasha."

"I understand. I just wish I didn't." Then Inuyasha closed his eyes and made his wish. Those onlooking could see his lips moving, but not hear him; although with concentration, Sesshoumaru could make out some of the words by watching the movements. He had been concerned and curious at the wave of misery that had washed over his brother; it had been most acute and he meant to get to the bottom of it.

"I wish for all those I love and care about to regain their health and to live happily for the rest of their days with whatever things they most need."

"Well done my child, that is a far reaching request, even covering those you have shown concern for in your travels."

"Keh!, at the moment I don't care."

"You will, when you see the good you have done." With that there was a flash and the Miko of the jewel appeared to everyone announcing that the wish had been made and that she would be able to answer any questions for the next twenty four hours, before she and the jewel vanished forever. The gem was now inert and would not draw any youkai to it. For the first time since he had turned his back on the crowd and walked a little apart from them all to make his wish; Inuyasha came to join them all and to see what his wish had done.

Kagome literally launched herself at her hanyou and his arms automatically went round her as she leaned in for a kiss. He whined in his throat and held her as tightly as he could; as he whispered, that he loved her, into her ear. Sessshoumaru, who heard the private whisper; looked over in surprise as another of those strange waves of misery rolled of his brother. Then he looked at Inuyasha closely, a suspicion of the truth coming to his knowledgable mind and suddenly he knew what was to happen. For once he felt nothing but anger for the unfair deal that fate kept handing out to his little brother.

Midoriko than repeated Inuyasha's wish aloud for all to hear and as she did so, the power of the Shikon Jewel washed over all present and beyond. More than wounds of battle were healed; Inuyasha had wanted people to regain their health and the jewel took this to heal longstanding illnesses and disabilities too. Sesshoumaru found the stump of his arm seemed full of youki energy and he knew he could feel his arm regrowing. It took all of his training not to wince with pain at the sharp agony of the regrowth, but his face remained stoic albeit with a quick look to see how his brother was faring; knowing that he must have planned this too.

Inuyasha felt his brother glance at him and he lifted his eyes to lock with the amber of his brother, giving a small smile at the tiny bow with which Sesshoumaru favoured him. Inuyasha hoped that his brother would be pleased with the other part of the request which would be granted concerning him as well; his brother had helped to end the existence of Naraku and had called a form of truce with Inuyasha. Inuyasha never wanted to harm his only family; he loved Sesshoumaru and always had, all he had ever wanted was for his brother to recognise and love him back; to be his sibling properly.

Kohaku was healed in mind and would be able to believe, when he was told that he had been forgiven and that it was Naraku only, who was the culprit behind the vile deeds. Miroku too was able to see beyond the short term; even with the Kazaana gone, it could have become a mental problem causing depression, if not healed. Sango as well, although she did not show her healing; no longer had the huge scar that Kohaku had caused on her back. Her back was now free of the pull from the scar tissue that she had lived and worked with for the last few years. No longer would it tire her or make her muscles ache, or make her feel so shy and scared when she thought of her future husband finding her body lacking in beauty.

There was a collective gasp when Kaede came to them; she walked taller, all traces of arthritic hips and limbs gone; her grey hair shone and she smiled at them all, a twinkle in both her eyes. The group of her 'children' all came round to fuss her; even Inuyasha stood at the back, a pleased smile on his face when nobody was watching him. The fact that these were not isolated events either, was not lost on the group who stood on the outskirts of the village. There were sounds of rejoicing coming from all about them.

Then lastly for the time being, Midoriko called Kagome over to her privately; away from the crowd and called from the girl's body a glowing ball of light, explaining that this essence had found refuge inside Kikyou and then when the Miko passed, it had found Kagome. Now it had joined the youki force from the jewel to become a true being again and was placed in a body of flesh and blood whose life had not long departed. Midoriko explained that she had searched for a woman who resembled the youkai's original body greatly, but that the youki would give back the subtle nuances of expression and dominate over the deceased; giving the youkai her true life again.

Kagome was a bit horrified but supposed that it made no difference to the poor dead person if her body was used as the basis for rebirth. The youkai opened her ruby eyes in surprise and looked around. She was quick on the uptake and realised that somehow she was once again alive, whilst Naraku was dead. Kagome ran to her and her eyes sparkling, was obviously happy to see her, but before she could say anything, a low and calm voice was slightly shaken as he named her;